Jessica Faselt.

CCM Alumna Jessica Faselt Competes as Met Opera National Council Auditions Finalist

Update: Jessica Faselt is among five singers who won the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York. Read more in the Cincinnati Business Courier:

CCM alumna Jessica Faselt, soprano, ( MM Voice, 2016) competes in the Grand Finals concert of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions this Sunday, April 29, 2018, in New York.

The prestigious competition for young singers has four rounds: District, Regional, Semi-Final and Final. Ten of the semi-finalists were chosen to compete in the final round, where five of them will be pronounced winners. Each winner receives $15,000, and the other finalists receive $5,000 each.

CCM alumni and students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Met’s National Council Auditions. In 2017, four CCM alumni competed in the semi-finals, including Faselt; Summer Hassan, soprano (MM Voice, 2014); Andrew Manea, baritone (MM Voice, 2016); and Cody Quattlebaum, bass-baritone (BM Voice, 2015) — who was chosen as a finalist in the national competition.

In addition to Faselt, CCM Artist Diploma in Opera Performance student Brandon Russell was also a semi-finalist in this year’s Met’s National Council Auditions. He competed in the semi-final round on April 22, and was awarded $1,500.

Faselt will compete against some of the top young singers in the country this Sunday, April 29, on the stage of the Met Opera. Read more about her on her professional website and in the bio below:

Jessica Faselt.

Jessica Faselt.

American soprano, Jessica Faselt, is gaining stature as a promising young professional with an exciting voice. Jessica is known for her “keen expression and impressive delivery” in performance (Music in Cincinnati).

Faselt most recently sang on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera on April 22 as a semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the second year in a row and advanced on to the Grand Finals Concert. Jessica’s first appearance on the Metropolitan Opera stage was in March of 2017 as a semi-finalist.

Faselt was a Studio Artist with the Florida Grand Opera in Miami for its 2017-18 season covering the roles of Salome in Richard Strauss’s Salome and Florencia in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas.

​She was an Emerging Young Artist with the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices in Reno, Nevada, where she studied with internationally-acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Dolora Zajick in the summers of 2016 and 2017.

Faselt was a semi-finalist in the Elizabeth Connell Prize International Vocal Competition. She received the 2nd Place Award at the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Voice Competition in 2017. She received an Encouragement Award at the Marcello Giordanni International Voice Competition in 2017. She was also a semi-finalist of the Eleanor McCollum Voice Competition with the Houston Grand Opera in February of 2016.

She was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the summer of 2015 and was again engaged with the company in the summer of 2016, covering the title role of Ariadne in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. In Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2nd annual Center Stage Concert of 2016, Faselt sang Donna Anna in the first act duet of Don Giovanni and The Marschallin in Strauss’ famous trio of Der Rosenkavalier with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Stephen Lord.

She performed the role of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the McAninch Arts Center in Chicago with the New Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2016. Other roles performed include Hanna in The Merry Widow, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito and Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw.

Faselt completed her masters degree at CCM where she was the recipient of the prestigious Corbett Award and received her bachelor of music from the University of Iowa with honors.

About the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. Known as the venue for the world’s greatest voices, the Metropolitan Opera holds National Council Auditions throughout the United States and Canada each year. The goal of the National Council Auditions is to discover promising young singers, give singers from around the country a chance to be heard by the major opera companies of the U.S. and Canada, and find potential participants for the Lindemann Young Artist Development program, an opera training program sponsored by the Met.

For more than six decades, this competition for exceptionally talented singers from across the country has helped launch the careers of some of opera’s greatest stars, including Stephanie Blythe, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Patricia Racette and Deborah Voigt — as well as, more recently, Lawrence Brownlee and Angela Meade.

View a full list of this year’s National Council Auditions Grand Finals Winners at

Are you a CCM Alumnus with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!

CCM News Student Salutes
Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.

CCM’s Spring Orchestra Series Commences With Richard Strauss’ Epic ‘Salome’ on Jan. 29

CCM’s Department of Orchestral Studies presents classics and contemporary masterworks alike in concert this semester.

Under the direction of Director of Orchestral Studies Mark Gibson and Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung, CCM’s acclaimed orchestral ensembles will give six concerts between January 29 and April 10, several of which are free and all of which are open to the public. Tickets are on sale now for all performances requiring paid admission.

CCM Assistant Professor Amy Johnson in Arizona Opera’s production of 'Salome.' Photography by Tim Fuller.

CCM Assistant Professor Amy Johnson in Arizona Opera’s production of ‘Salome.’ Photography by Tim Fuller.

The series commences at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, with a concert production of Richard Strauss’ 1905 masterpiece Salome. Capping off a year-long CCM festival, which celebrates music from the first decade of the 20th century, the Jan. 29 concert features Strauss’ one-act adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s controversial stage work and is a must see for opera, theatre and orchestral fans alike. Mark Gibson conducts.

The opera’s title, Salome, is drawn from the name traditionally given to the dancing woman from the New Testament gospels of Matthew and Mark who, after dancing for Herod Antipas, asks for, and receives, John the Baptist’s head on a platter.

Regarded as a story of dangerous female seductiveness, it was the unique blend of biblical narrative, murder and eroticism that attracted Oscar Wilde to write his controversial 19th century play about the mysterious figure.

Strauss’ operatic adaptation was just as controversial and was even banned in London and Vienna after its premiere in 1905. Today, the piece has become a well-established part of the operatic repertoire but still retains the same tantalizing excitement that was present at its premiere over 100 years ago.

A massive collaborative effort, this production of Salome features the talents of two CCM Voice faculty artists: Amy Johnson in the title role and Kenneth Shaw as John the Baptist. Salome also features guest artists Allan Glassman as Herod and Elizabeth Bishop, who sings the role of Herodias, Herod’s wife. Student soloists include Brandon Russell, Chelsea Melamed, T.J. Capobianco, John Humphrey, Blake Lampton, Pedro Arroyo, Christian Pursell, John Murton, Jacob Kinkaide, Alex Harper, Nicole Hodgins, Scarlett Rustemeyer. The production is semi-staged by faculty director Emma Griffin.

Listen to Mark Gibson discuss Salome on WVXU’s Around Cincinnati here.

The Philharmonia continues the collaborative spirit on Friday, March 11, with faculty-artists James Bunte and Douglas Knehans in American Voices XVIII, CCM’s yearly salute to modern American composers. This year features inspiring works by composers Julia Wolfe, Jennifer Higdon and the world premiere of a new symphony by Professor Knehans.

Under the direction of Aik Khai Pung, CCM’s Concert Orchestra will close out the concert series on April 10 with Charlie Parker with Strings, a collaboration between CCM’s Orchestral Studies and Jazz Studies programs featuring music from the classic orchestral jazz album of the same name.

Event Information
All events listed below take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. Some events do require purchased tickets; please see individual event information for single ticket prices and ordering information.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit for CCM Box Office hours and location.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit



8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29
CCM Philharmonia
Featuring faculty artists Amy Johnson, Kenneth Shaw and Tom Baresel, guest artists Elizabeth Bishop and Allan Glassman, and student soloists
Mark Gibson, music director and conductor
Emma Griffin, stage director
The capstone of CCM’s festival celebrating “The Great Decade,” Richard Strauss’ 1905 masterpiece Salome represents the epitome of pre-World War I decadence, opulence and extravagance. An adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s controversial stage work of the same name, this staging is an hour and a half of irresistible drama and ecstatic hyper-romanticism. It is a must see for opera fans, theatre enthusiasts and lovers of massive orchestral sound.

Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2
CCM Concert Orchestra
Aik Khai Pung, music director and conductor
Featuring a new work by CCM student composer Xian Wang, along with classic works from European composers!
WANG: New Work TBA
BARTÓK: Viola Concerto
HINDEMITH: Symphonic Metemorphosis on Themes of Weber
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Admission: FREE


8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26
CCM Concert Orchestra
Aik Khai Pung, music director and conductor
PROKOFIEV: Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto TBA
Featuring the winner of the CCM Violin Competition
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 10
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Admission: FREE


8 p.m. Friday, March 11
CCM Philharmonia
Featuring faculty artist James Bunte, soprano saxophone
Also featuring recent music of faculty composer Douglas Knehans
Mark Gibson, music director and conductor
CCM presents the world premiere of a new symphony by faculty artist Douglas Knehans, along with the exhilarating soprano saxophone concerto of Jennifer Hidgon and “Cruel Sister” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe.
KNEHANS: Unfinished Earth
HIGDON: Soprano Sax Concerto
James Bunte, soloist
WOLFE: Cruel Sister
Location: Corbett Auditorium
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


8 p.m. Friday, March 18
Café MoMus
Aik Khai Pung, music director
Featuring the winners of the CCM Composition Competition.
Location: Cohen Family Studio Theater
Admission: FREE


7 p.m. Sunday, April 10
CCM Jazz Orchestra and Concert Orchestra
Aik Khai Pung and Craig Bailey, conductors
Our annual collaboration between Jazz and Orchestra! Join us for an exciting night of orchestral jazz featuring music from the classic album Charlie Parker with Strings.
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE.


CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

Visiting Artists Sponsor: The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel

Orchestral Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Hirschhorn

CCM News

CCM Opera Presents Two One-Acts by Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith in Free Production Oct. 24 – 26

CCM’s Department of Opera will present a mini recreation of the legendary Baden-Baden Contemporary Music Festival of 1927 with a cabaret lab production running Friday, Oct. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 26 in the Cohen Family Studio Theater.

Like all Studio Series productions, admission to Baden-Baden 1927 is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 20.

During the original composer-organized summer festival, which occurred in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1927, four one-act operas were presented in one evening. CCM’s recreation will present two of these mini-operas: Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and Paul Hindemith’s Hin und Zurük (There and Back). Despite being nearly 100 years old, each of these pieces will resonate with audiences today.

According to graduate student Frances Rabalais (AD Opera, Stage Directing) who is directing Baden-Baden 1927 under the guidance of CCM Assistant Professor of Opera/Directing Emma Griffin, post-Word War I Germany was a time and place of great artistic exploration as artists rejected past understanding and searched for new ways to ask, “How can we use art to better society? How can we find new ways [to involve] the audience in a fulfilling opera experience?”

“The intimacy of a smaller venue like the Cohen Family Studio Theater is thrilling and special,” says Rabalais. “The audience can experience the art in a way that’s very personal.” A single piano accompanist will compliment the talented singers in both performances. Baden-Baden 1927 features musical preparation by graduate student Levi Hammer (DMA, Orchestral Conducting), under the guidance of Junghyun Cho. Hammer and Kihwa Kim provide accompaniment.

This up-close performance is an especially unique experience because the pieces by Hindemith and Weill contrast both stylistically and narratively. Hin und Zurük is a kind of dramatic palindrome, a tragedy unfolds involving jealousy, murder and suicide. It is then replayed with the lines sung in reverse order to produce a happy ending. “Mahagonny Songspiel takes a dark approach to tackling questions about society and authority,” says Rabalais. Visually, the pieces will be styled similarly and use the same scenic elements. “I think the unified look will heighten the contrasting strengths and emphasize the stylistic impact of each opera,” explains Rabalais.

CCM News